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Kirra Shorts Sew-along: Waistband and Cuffs

the Sergery sewing patterns Kirra Shorts Sew-along Waistband CuffsThe end is in sight folks, by the end of this blog, you will have yourself the cutest and comfiest shorts in your wardrobe, so let's hop to it!

Waistband

Take your shorts over to the iron and freshen up the fold that goes around the waistband. You want it nice and crisp for the next step for the best results. Make sure that all of the seams continue on as you can see in the below photo.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shoirts sewalong waistband fold

Once pressed, sew a 3cm (1 3/16") seam around the waistband with the wrong sides facing. This will become your ruffle. Be careful when you sew over the pockets to keep the edges in place and not flippy.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shirts sewalong sewing ruffle

Turn your shorts the right way out, we're going to create the elastic channel! Pin the remaining waistband flap in place, matching seams as above. Topstitch the waistband in place with a scant 1mm (1/16") seam just within the waistband. Make sure you leave a 5cm gap in your sewing to insert the elastic and definitely backtack at the ends of your sewing to save them from unraveling during the next step.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong elastic

Grab a pair of medium to large safety pins and use one to pin the elastic to the shorts near the channel opening; a seam allowance is ideal. Attach the other towards a corner of the remaining end.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong elastic

Insert the elastic through the channel keeping the pin to one side of the channel to keep it from twisting. When you get to the end, safety pin the ends of elastic together untwisted before tugging enough out of your shorts to sew the ends together.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong elastic

Sew the ends together with a 1.5cm (5/8"). You can do this neatly, but I just sew back and forth a few times edge to edge. I save my pretty stitches for the outside and visible insides.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong elastic ends

Pull the elastic back into the channel by stretching the waistband of your shorts out. I like to do it as shown in the video below so that the elastic overlap ends up away from the channel closure. You can try your shorts on now to see how the elastic fits and adjust as required, but please note that the topstitching will stretch the elastic out a little.


Sew the elastic channel closed. I recommend using a zipper foot to keep the elastic out of the way. I also recommend a sneaky pin away from the action to hold the waistband in place. Please make sure the pin has a small or flat head and is DEFINITELY away from where the sewing will be, I don't want your broken needles haunting my dreams.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong close elastic channel

Now for the waistband topstitching! This step really elevates the look of your shorts, so please don't skip it.
Give the waistband of your shorts another pulling out to even out the elastic. Once you're happy with the even gathers, start your topstitch 1.2cm (1/4") from one of the channel seams and on one of the side seams. They will be a little flat, making them the best place to start and stop your topstitching.
This is tricky and takes practice, so if you don't get it right the first time, don't be hard on yourself! Hold the waistband with your left hand behind and your right in front. Once you have a grip, pull the waistband taut and guide (not pull) the shorts through the machine. I have given you a video below showing my technique.

 

One final tip for this technique; I don't recommend starting each chunk of topstitching with the needle down. It is too easy to nudge the needle out of place as you grip and pull the fabric and your first stitch will result in a broken needle. I did it heaps while drafting the Kirra pattern, and I don't want the same for you!
If the needle is down, use the handwheel to move it up before gripping and pulling taut your fabric, and carry on.

Repeat for a second seam 1.2cm (1/4") away from the other channel seam. I do believe that's the elastic overlap on the right side of the pic below. It will also be a bit less gathered over the pockets due to the amount of fabric going on here.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong topstitched waistband close up

Congrats you! You just completed the hardest part of your Kirras!

Hems

Luckily the rest of the pattern is pretty quick so you can get them on your pins pronto. Head over to the iron and press the hems 1cm (3/8") toward the inside, and then again at a further 5cm (2").

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong measure hems

Topstitch in place with a scant 1mm (1/16") seam.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong hems

Press the cuffs into place, with the seams rolled to just inside.

the segery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong cuffs

Secure the cuffs in place with a few hand or machine stitches at the side and inner side seam.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong stitch in the ditch

And done! Go take them for a spin and if you're putting them up on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me with either #sewingkirra or #thesergery. I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

the sergery sewing patterns kirra shorts sewalong finished

 

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